LANSING—Sen. John Proos on Monday met with area business owners and career and technical education (CTE) directors of local schools at the Michigan Works! of Benton Harbor office. The meeting focused on discussing the best way to structure legislation to improve access for students to alternative or CTE courses.
“Every Southwest Michigan student should be given an education that best matches their skills and meets their goals – including the ability to choose to take additional career and technical education classes,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Education is not a one-size-fits-all business. This meeting was about figuring out how we can best reform the system to give our students the flexibility to choose an educational path that best prepares them for successful careers.”
Proos said the group discussed many important factors at the meeting, including: whether the job training demands in Southwest Michigan are being met through available programming; the current involvement of the business community in creating CTE programs; and any barriers to schools offering CTE classes or to students taking them.
Matt Tyler, president of Vickers Engineering, noted the new skills needed for modern manufacturing jobs.
“Today’s manufacturing jobs are not the same as they were in the past. They involve robotics and automation – areas that interest many of today’s young people,” Tyler said. “We have to do a better job informing students that these kinds of careers are available right here in Southwest Michigan and prepare them to succeed at these careers.”
In January, Proos introduced Senate Bill 66 to allow options for students to count additional CTE courses toward meeting the state’s high school graduation requirements.
Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos are available on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Podcasts.”